Honours even in fierce Chiefs-Vikings matchup

The A'ana Chiefs and Savai'i Vikings played out an intense 6-6 draw at Fasito'o Primary School Field in A'ana yesterday as part of round five of the P.P.S. Super 9 Senior A competition.

Rainfall meant the game was played in slippery conditions, which Chiefs coach Faasuaga Seufalemua Fanueli said had a big impact on the game.

"You can never expect the ball to go wide.

“Most of the stuff we worked on during the week didn’t come off today."

The Chiefs, who came into the round at the top of the Super 9 standings, trailed 6-0 at halftime, but came home the stronger of the sides and could count themselves unlucky not to win.

Faasuaga said it was a tough game.

“We’re happy about the result, the draw is not bad.

“The Vikings are one of the best teams in the Super 9 so we’re happy with that.

He said they will look at their mistakes from the game and work on them before they play the Faleata Knights next week.

Faasuaga thanked all the supporters of the Chiefs, who were vocal throughout the game.

“Especially the sponsors of the A’ana Chiefs, we are very grateful for their help in building this franchise to a strong position and putting them together."

Vikings Coach Tapunuuomanū Roger Warren said the crowd played their part in putting his team under massive pressure during the second half.

“To be honest I think we were lucky to get away with the draw."

He said in the last 20 minutes the Vikings were rushing everything.

“Our drivers, our leaders like the halfback and the first five, need to step up and organise the team."

Tapunuuomanū said that's something they have to work on, along with their defence.

“We got penalised twice for offside so our linespeed and our tackling, we missed a few tackles as well."

Those penalties around 35 metres out directly in front of the posts allowed Chiefs second five Joyner Key to step up and make it 6-3, then 6-6 with about 15 minutes to play.

Vikings first five Kalolo Lepou had converted twice in the first half to give his side that 6-0 lead.

However they failed to capitalise on first half yellow cards to Chiefs props Agape Maafu and Sialii Alofisa in the 29th and 34th minutes.

Tapunuuomanū was left to rue that come the end of the game.

“I think they defended well [in that period], they put us under pressure.

“They sort of slowed the game so their sinbinned guys could rejoin the team."

The Vikings family suffered a tragedy prior to the game with the passing of lock Aukusitino Ulugia's daughter Augustina Ulugia-Ah Fook on the 30th of April.

The team wore black armbands, and dedicated the match to her memory.

Tapunuuomanū passed on his condolences to the family, and noted Ulugia's strong performance in the absence of lock Theodore McFarland, who left for China this week to play with the Samoan national basketball team.

He said they received plenty of supportive messages from Savai'i before what was their first away game this season.

“I think the boys stood up and took on the challenge, but we’ve still got a lot to work on.

“I’d like to thank the boys, the sponsors as always, and the supporters from Savai’i for supporting us."

The Vikings play the Atua Legends next week, who will be rested coming off this week's bye.

Chiefs 6 (Joyner Key 2/3 pens)

Vikings 6 (Kalolo Lepou 2/3 pens)

HT: 0-6

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